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The Rise of Do-It-Yourself Biology

Gilda/Flickr via Creative Commons

Leather created by microbes. Bacteria genetically engineered to prevent malaria. In community labs around the world, a growing number of amateur scientists with little academic background are learning the ins and outs of biotechnology. Like computer hackers before them, they hope to democratize a complex technology. What are they working on? Is it risky to let amateurs tinker with the code of life? Or should we all learn these skills as biotechnology increasingly alters our everyday lives? 


*Dan Grushkin, co-founder of GenSpace, the first nonprofit community bio lab in the country, based in Brooklyn

*Ryan Hoover, an active member of the Baltimore Underground Science Space and a professor at MICA in interdisciplinary sculpture

*Todd Kuiken,Senior Research Scholar at North Carolina State University in their Genetic Engineering and Society Center. He is also a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. with their Science and Technology Innovation Program

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Andrea no longer works for On The Record.